Chemical impacts in fish and shellfish from Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays
Moore, Michael J.
Smolowitz, Roxanna A.
Leavitt, Dale F.
Stegeman, John J.
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Mununichogs, soft shell clams, and blue mussels from some or all of 10 sites in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays were examined histologically: a suite of pathological changes previously known to be associated with chemical contamination were found in animals from the more contaminated sites. In particular, liver tumors were evident in 14% of the adult mununichogs from the Island End River, a tributary of the Mystic River in Boston Harbor. Additionally, a number of pathologies previously shown to be associated with chemical exposure were seen in the two bivalve species at a number of contaminated sites. Induction of cytochrome P45() IA (CYPIA) was also seen in muntntichogs from the more contaminated sites: CYPIA induction is a biochemical change associated with exposure to dioxin and other planar halogenated and aromatic hydrocarbons. These findings suggest that there are measurable biochemical and pathological changes in intertidal fish and shellfish from the more contaminated parts of the Massachusetts Bays system. These types of changes were less evident in the two reference sites in Cape Cod Bay.
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Environment Cape Cod 1, no. 3 (1998): 68-85.